Members Only  

Making custom projects work

April 1, 2019

  When Eric Walton and Devlin McKee opened Custom Canvas Alaska LLC in Fairbanks 14 years ago, the partners knew they had to offer custom canvas work beyond the boat tops they started out providing. After all, a marine fabrication shop in Alaska faces some extreme seasonal ups and downs, making project diversification a survival …

Whether indoors or out, custom graphics have a strong appeal with brand-savvy businesses

February 1, 2019

Those contemplating adding fabric graphics to their professional repertoire will find an arena poised for expansion and strong demand, driven by advancements in print and ink technology as well as by fabrics that increasingly deliver stunning results more reliably. Also fueling activity is the accelerating movement toward personalization and customization, says Randy Anderson, product marketing …

Members Only  

Taking the lead: women in the tent rental industry

January 1, 2019

When Sarah Crews, director of sales and marketing for Miami, Fla.-based Economy Tent International (ETI), started going to outdoor trade shows 13 years ago, she didn’t see many women attending the events. Tent rental companies headed by women were even scarcer. But over the years that situation has changed, says Crews (formerly Lapping). “As the …

Fabric’s role in revitalizing neglected urban areas

Like other rust belt cities, Detroit began declining decades ago, propelled by a combination of bad luck, bad timing, bad decisions and economic transformations that delivered additional crushing, seemingly fatal, blows. Its condition was such that not so long ago, numerous companies sprang up offering tours of the city’s ruined buildings and factories—a somewhat morbid …

A dazzling duo: indoor fabrics and lighting

December 1, 2018

Fabrics have always been an essential component in commercial interior spaces. But, historically, their inclusion has been limited to more conventional roles, such as draperies and curtains, or flexible room dividers. With some exceptions, fabrics were not intended to serve as a focus in and of themselves. That has changed—decidedly. Fabrics are now looked to …

Members Only  

Managing urban water issues with geosynthetics

November 1, 2018

As more land is lost to urban sprawl, and managing stormwater and wastewater runoff from hard-surface pavements has become a growing necessity, green infrastructure strategies are front and center in the minds of city planners, engineers and others focused on environmental and quality-of-life issues. Green infrastructure (GI) is a sustainable, low-cost and environmentally friendly approach …

Members Only  

To sew or to seal: expanding the toolbox

October 1, 2018

To sew or to seal is a question that some fabricators have answered by gearing their offerings toward products that utilize either the former or the latter, but not both. While this kind of specialization can be a viable and lucrative strategy, expanding the toolbox to incorporate both sewing and sealing can often prove even …

Moving military textiles into commercial markets

September 1, 2018

Located in Philadelphia, Pa., and founded in 1929, Ehmke Manufacturing Co. Inc. has made the military its primary target from the beginning, designing and fabricating a wide array of technical fabrics not just for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, but for allies and the defense industry in general. Products directed to the market …

Added value experiences keep the customers around

July 30, 2018

Delivering an added-value experience can help companies pull ahead of the pack, giving customers the incentive to return—while also elevating the business and the entire industry. It can be challenging to stand out from the scrum of companies clamoring for attention and business. More challenging still is inspiring the kind of loyalty that keeps customers …

Members Only  

How to use the H-2B program to hire legal temporary guest workers

June 1, 2018

For tent and event rental companies, the busy season not only brings the promise of more work, it also ups the need for more workers, a worry for businesses facing potential labor shortages. In response, some U.S. businesses turn to the H-2B program, hoping to fill their seasonal needs by employing legal temporary immigrant labor, …